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Match report

Air traffic controllers fail to dent Barça’s talent

December 6th, 2010

One of the casualties of an unplanned strike by air traffic controllers timed to cause disruption on Spain’s long weekend was FC Barcelona, who had planned on flying to Navarra for their match against Osasuna.

Despite being in contact with the Spanish League, when it became apparent that Barça would not be able to fly at all, Pep Guardiola was told that if they didn’t play they would lose three points. And so the squad made a gruelling trip by bus and train, arriving at the stadium with just an hour to go.

And while the match started late, with Barça’s preparation ruined, once again they played to win. Pedro took the first goal in the 26th minute, while Messi scored his first in the 65th. And again in the 82nd from the penalty spot.

0-1 Pedro (min 26)
0-2 Messi (min 65)
0-3 Messi (p)(min 37)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
14
12
1
1
41
8
37
2
Real Madrid
14
11
2
1
35
11
35
3
Villarreal
14
9
3
2
27
12
30
4
Espanyol
14
9
1
4
16
15
28
5
Valencia
14
7
3
4
19
15
24
6
Real Sociedad
14
7
1
6
21
19
22
7
Mallorca
14
6
3
5
15
16
21
8
Atlético Madrid
14
6
2
6
22
19
20
9
Getafe
14
6
2
6
22
20
20
10
Sevilla
14
6
2
6
20
23
20
11
Athletic Bilbao
14
6
1
7
21
25
19
12
Osasuna
14
4
3
7
12
17
15
13
Hércules
13
4
3
6
14
20
15
14
Deportivo
13
3
5
4
11
16
14
15
Levante
14
4
2
8
16
23
14
16
Racing Santander
14
4
2
8
12
23
14
17
Málaga
14
4
1
9
19
28
13
18
Sporting Gijón
14
2
4
8
11
22
10
19
Almería
14
1
7
6
10
21
10
20
Zaragoza
14
1
6
7
13
24
9

El clasico 2010 – the shame of Real Madrid

November 30th, 2010

FC Barcelona v Real Madrid is probably the biggest fixture of the year worldwide, and while it always has a huge build-up it is sometimes quite a let down.

That wasn’t the case last night though, particularly if you are a Barça fan. While the Catalans came on to play the beautiful game, the visitors showed what happens when you hire a bunch of expensive thugs who have no idea what sportsmanship is.

And that was nowhere better demonstrated by Cristiano Ronaldo, who was bought for talent that he can never show when the odds are too high and behaves like a petulant prima dona when things don’t go his way.

Such as when he took the ball from Pep Guardiola and pushed him back around 30 minutes in – honestly, I know tensions run high but was that in any way necessary. I’m not condoning violence at football matches, but if I’d been in Guardiola’s place I think I would have decked him.

Okay, so now I have that off my chest….

It was a pretty miserable night from the point of view of the weather – cold and raining and nobody likes much to be out in that, but support for Barça – particularly on a Monday night – was outstanding. Perhaps it was something to do with the Catalan elections on Sunday, perhaps it was simply the event itself, but people were going out of their way to ignore the rain as best they could and support Barcelona.

The team went on with one intention – to beat Real Madrid, and they showed how intent they were to do that from the start. Messi came close in minute six, but Xavi put an Iniesta assist into the goal just four minutes later to open up the scoring. Seven minutes later it was Villa’s pass to Pedro that put the hosts 2-0 up.

That’s when Real Madrid really started to show how nasty they can be, with Ronaldo’s push of Guardiola at around the half hour mark. That earned him a yellow card, but the scuffles on pitch afterwards looked like the ref might start showing the red. In the end it was only Victor Valdes who earned a yellow.

A few minutes later when Valdes tangled directly with Ronaldo in the Barça area it looked like the visitors would be awarded a penalty. When it wasn’t given, Valdes just laughed in the face of his opponent. And what happened at the end of the first half? Leo Messi was clearly elbowed in the face, but it was him that was shown the yellow card!

After the break there was no let up for Barça. In the 54th minute David Villa scored his first; and three minutes later he did it again! Did I imagine it or had Jose Mourinho said that Villa can’t score??!!.. Oh yeah? Mourinho’s sour look on the bench told a story – his face had been well and truly rubbed in the dirt.

4-0 good enough for Barça? Not when it can be 5-0, as Jeffren made it right at the end. And when the stadium was just waiting for the fat lady, Ramos was shown a red for completely unnecessary behaviour and started pushing Puyol, Xavi and other players around. Umm… aren’t you supposed to be team mates in the Spanish selection, Ramos?

At 63% possession, Barça looked like they were playing a second rate team, not against so-called galacticos, thereby leapfrogging them in the league.

Conclusion?

Barça walked all over Madrid in the first half and after scoring the first two goals they simply tried dirty play to put Barça off their stride and break their flow. Real Madrid – you really ought to be ashamed. At least Jose Mourinho was suitably humbled after the match and said that Barça deserved to win.

And man of the match – definitely Cristiano Ronaldo, but for all the wrong reasons. He is a disgrace.

1-0, Xavi (min 10)
2-0, Pedro (min 17)
3-0, Villa (min 54)
4-0, Villa (min 57)
5-0, Jeffren (min 91)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Barcelona
13
11
1
1
38
8
34
2
Real Madrid
13
10
2
1
33
11
32
3
Villarreal
13
8
3
2
26
12
27
4
Espanyol
13
8
1
4
15
15
25
5
Valencia
13
7
3
3
19
13
24
6
Mallorca
13
6
3
4
15
13
21
7
Atlético Madrid
13
6
2
5
22
17
20
8
Sevilla
13
6
2
5
20
22
20
9
Real Sociedad
13
6
1
6
19
19
19
10
Athletic Bilbao
13
6
1
6
21
23
19
11
Getafe
13
5
2
6
19
20
17
12
Osasuna
13
4
3
6
12
14
15
13
Hércules
13
4
3
6
14
20
15
14
Deportivo
13
3
5
4
11
16
14
15
Racing Santander
13
4
2
7
11
19
14
16
Levante
13
3
2
8
14
23
11
17
Sporting Gijón
13
2
4
7
11
21
10
18
Málaga
13
3
1
9
15
27
10
19
Almería
13
1
6
6
9
20
9
20
Zaragoza
13
1
5
7
12
23
8

Barça through to next round of Champions League

November 25th, 2010

FC Barcelona’s 3-0 win against Panathinaikos ensured they go through to the next round of Champions League. This is another confidence booster ahead of the clash with Real Madrid on Monday, the biggest match in the European footballing calendar.

0-1 Pedro (min 26)
0-2 Messi (min 62)
0-3 Pedro (min 69)


Barça equals best ever score

November 22nd, 2010

Normally Real Madrid would have been happy with a 5-1 win ahead of “el classic” next Monday night. However Barcelona’s astounding 8-0 win against Almeria – the result equals their best ever score against Mallorca in 1959 – takes more than a little shine off Madrid’s result.

Not only have Barça received a massive confidence boost ahead of matches against Panathinaikos and Real Madrid in the next 8 days but at least a little of the swagger must have been taken out of Cristiano Ronaldo and co.

Leo Messi was his usual superb self and added another hat-trick to his tally of goals this season. Iniesta, Pedro, Bojan (2) and an own goal accounted for Barça’s other goals, which now puts Barcelona’s tally level with Real Madrid at 33.

It has clearly become a two horse race for the Spanish league title – third place Villarreal have just 24 points compared with 32 and 31 from Madrid and Barça.

0-1 Messi (min 16)
0-2 Iniesta (min 18)
0-3 Acasiete (own goal, min 26)
0-4 Pedro (min 35)
0-5 Messi (min 36)
0-6 Bojan (min 62)
0-7 Messi (min 67)
0-8 Bojan (min 72)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
12
10
2
0
33
6
32
2
Barcelona
12
10
1
1
33
8
31
3
Villarreal
12
7
3
2
23
12
24
4
Espanyol
12
7
1
4
12
13
22
5
Valencia
12
6
3
3
17
12
21
6
Atlético Madrid
12
6
2
4
20
14
20
7
Sevilla
12
6
2
4
19
19
20
8
Mallorca
12
5
3
4
13
13
18
9
Real Sociedad
12
5
1
6
16
18
16
10
Athletic Bilbao
12
5
1
6
20
23
16
11
Osasuna
12
4
3
5
12
13
15
12
Deportivo
12
3
5
4
11
15
14
13
Getafe
11
4
1
6
15
18
13
14
Hércules
12
3
3
6
11
19
12
15
Levante
12
3
2
7
13
20
11
16
Racing Santander
12
3
2
7
10
19
11
17
Sporting Gijón
12
2
4
6
10
18
10
18
Málaga
12
3
1
8
15
25
10
19
Almería
12
1
6
5
8
18
9
20
Zaragoza
11
1
4
6
11
19
7
win ahead of the classic next amonday night. However barcelonas astounding 8-0 win means that a little if the shine was taken off Madrids result and they must go forward with a little of the swagger taken out of ronaldo and co.


Check the scores

Leo Messi was his usual superb self.

On wednesday Barça face xxxxxx in champions league while Madrid plays WHO. That should even out the workload a bit.

Two horse race after Valencia and Villarreal fell back.

Barça beats Villarreal

November 15th, 2010

Barça had a great result on Saturday night with a 3-1 win over Villarreal, currently third in the league. David Villa scored the first followed by two more from Leo Messi, although it should have been three for the Argentinian due to a poor offside call from the linesman.

With Real Madrid’s last minute goal against Sporting Gijon handing them three points, Barcelona remains in second place.

1-0 Villa (min 21)
1-1 Nilmar (min 25)
2-1 Messi (min 58)
3-1 Messi (min 84)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
11
9
2
0
28
5
29
2
Barcelona
11
9
1
1
25
8
28
3
Villarreal
11
7
2
2
22
11
23
4
Valencia
11
6
2
3
16
11
20
5
Sevilla
11
6
2
3
18
17
20
6
Espanyol
11
6
1
4
9
13
19
7
Atlético Madrid
11
5
2
4
16
12
17
8
Athletic Bilbao
11
5
1
5
19
18
16
9
Real Sociedad
11
5
1
5
14
14
16
10
Mallorca
11
4
3
4
11
12
15
11
Getafe
11
4
1
6
15
18
13
12
Osasuna
11
3
3
5
11
13
12
13
Hércules
11
3
3
5
11
16
12
14
Racing Santander
11
3
2
6
9
16
11
15
Deportivo
11
2
5
4
8
15
11
16
Málaga
11
3
1
7
15
22
10
17
Sporting Gijón
11
2
4
5
10
17
10
18
Almería
11
1
6
4
8
10
9
19
Levante
11
2
2
7
10
19
8
20
Zaragoza
11
1
4
6
11
19
7

5-1 victory against Ceuta

November 11th, 2010

An unfamiliar side walked onto the pitch last night as FC Barcelona faced AC Ceuta in the Copa del Rey. While Ceuta may be an unfamiliar sight in the Nou Camp, so was the Barça squad, with Bojan as captain.

However, despite fielding a squad largely composed of B team players, the Catalans dominated from the start. In the first seven minutes the scored two goals although Ceuta got one back 10 minutes before the break.

After the break Pedro opened the scoring for Barcelona, with Bojan adding a forth goal quart of an hour later. And with Leo Messi coming on in the 61st minute, it was almost certain that the Argentinian would add one to Barça’s tally – he did exactly that in the 68th minute.

The result means that Barça goes through to the next round of the Copa del Rey.

1-0, Nolito (min 2)
2-0, Milito (min 7)
2-1, Guzmán (min 35)
3-1, Pedro (min 50)
4-1, Bojan (min 64)
5-1, Messi (min 68)


Barça takes thee points from Getafe

November 8th, 2010

Another great result on Sunday night shows that FC Barcelona has really found their stride in the Spanish League, after beating Getafe 3-1. Although the hosts are currently languishing mid table, they always put up a tough fight, perhaps demonstated by their collection of five yellow cards.

Messi, Villa and Pedro all took one goal apiece, with a great supporting act from Xavi, Iniesta and the rest of the squad. Perhaps the low moment of the match was when Piquet received his marching orders from a second yellow card for handball in the area.

The resulting penalty gave Getafe their moment of the night, but it was a well deserved three points for Barça, which leaves them trailing Real Madrid by a single point after their 2-0 defeat of Atletico in the Madrid derby.

0-1 Messi (min 22)
0-2 Villa (min 34)
0-3 Pedro (min 65)
1-3 Del Moral (min 69)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
10
8
2
0
27
5
26
2
Barcelona
10
8
1
1
22
7
25
3
Villarreal
10
7
2
1
21
8
23
4
Espanyol
10
6
0
4
9
13
18
5
Valencia
9
5
2
2
14
9
17
6
Real Sociedad
10
5
1
4
13
12
16
7
Atlético Madrid
10
4
2
4
13
12
14
8
Mallorca
10
4
2
4
11
12
14
9
Sevilla
9
4
2
3
14
16
14
10
Athletic Bilbao
10
4
1
5
18
18
13
11
Getafe
10
4
1
5
15
16
13
12
Osasuna
10
3
3
4
11
10
12
13
Sporting Gijón
10
2
4
4
10
16
10
14
Racing Santander
10
3
1
6
9
16
10
15
Deportivo
10
2
4
4
8
15
10
16
Hércules
10
2
3
5
9
15
9
17
Almería
10
1
6
3
8
9
9
18
Levante
10
2
2
6
10
18
8
19
Zaragoza
10
1
4
5
10
17
7
20
Málaga
10
2
1
7
14
22
7

Draw for Barça in Champions League

November 3rd, 2010

Barça played the away leg of the Champions League group stage against Copenhagen last night in front of a capacity crowd. With a full strength squad, as opposed to the squad fielding plenty of B team players as in the home leg, they could have been expected to take the hosts apart, as they did with Sevilla on Saturday.

However, it wasn’t to be and despite going for goal on several occasions the ball just didn’t want to go in. Leo Messi got Barça’s only goal of the match in the 31st minute. However, they held onto their lead for virtually a minute until Copenhagen scored an equaliser.

A disappointing result, but Barça are at the top of the table.

0-1, Messi (min 31)
1-1, Claudemir (min 32)

P W D L F A GD PTS
1 FC Barcelona 4 2 2 0 9 3 6 8
2 FC Copenhagen 4 2 1 1 4 3 1 7
3 Rubin Kazan 4 0 3 1 1 2 -1 3
4 Panathinaikos 4 0 2 2 1 7 -6 2

Barça annihilates Sevilla

November 2nd, 2010

After wondering if Barça was really up to taking the league again this season, they pull a 5-0 win out of the hat, and it wasn’t against a minor team. FC Barcelona’s complete domination of Sevilla shows what they can do when they all pull together, with two goals from Messi and Villa and another from Dani Alves.

Barça are now second place in the league after Villarreal dropped points and remain just one point behind Real Madrid. With “el classic” at the end of the month there is still time for either team to drop points, but it is certainly going to be an exciting race until then – provided Barça can perform like they did against Sevilla.

Of course, it is still early days. Anything could happen between now and the end of the season that could tip the balance for or against FC Barcelona.

1-0, Messi (min 4)
2-0, Villa (min 24)
3-0, Alves (min 52)
4-0, Messi (min 63)
5-0, Villa (min 90)

Team P W D L F A Pts
1
Real Madrid
9
7
2
0
25
5
23
2
Barcelona
9
7
1
1
19
6
22
3
Villarreal
9
6
2
1
17
7
20
4
Valencia
9
5
2
2
14
9
17
5
Espanyol
9
5
0
4
8
13
15
6
Atlético Madrid
9
4
2
3
13
10
14
7
Mallorca
9
4
2
3
9
9
14
8
Sevilla
9
4
2
3
14
16
14
9
Athletic Bilbao
9
4
1
4
17
14
13
10
Getafe
9
4
1
4
14
13
13
11
Real Sociedad
9
4
1
4
12
12
13
12
Racing Santander
9
3
1
5
9
15
10
13
Osasuna
9
2
3
4
8
10
9
14
Hércules
9
2
3
4
9
12
9
15
Sporting Gijón
9
2
3
4
9
15
9
16
Almería
9
1
5
3
7
8
8
17
Levante
9
2
2
5
9
16
8
18
Málaga
9
2
1
6
14
21
7
19
Deportivo
9
1
4
4
6
14
7
20
Zaragoza
9
0
4
5
7
15
4

Barça beats AD Ceuta in Copa del Rey

October 27th, 2010

Maxwell and Pedro were the stars last night as FC Barcelona beat lowly AD Ceuta 2-0 in the Copa del Rey. Barça’s lineup was very much a B team, with most big name players absent.

0-1 Maxwell (min 15)
0-2 Pedro (min 25)


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